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SPPS Response to SPFE Strike Vote

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Last night (February 15, 2024), members of the Saint Paul Federation of Educators (SPFE) voted to authorize a strike. This union includes our licensed educators such as teachers, educational assistants, and school and community services personnel.

With this vote, SPFE can file an official intent to strike as soon as next week. If and when SPFE files, the district and the union will have 10 days to continue negotiating in an effort to avoid a strike. 

Please know that last night’s vote does not mean there will be a strike, nor do we believe that a strike is necessary in order to meet the needs of our students, families and staff. SPFE and SPPS have been negotiating these contracts since September and agreed to seek mediation in December. Four full-day mediation sessions have taken place this month, and two more full days of mediation are scheduled for Feb. 23 and March 1.

At this time, the main issues that remain unresolved are around wages, health insurance, and other proposals that have significant costs. The new funding from the state is helpful, but comes with many requirements that dictate how it must be spent. Even with this funding, SPPS is facing a budget shortfall of approximately $107.7 million for next year. This is due to several factors, including the expiration of COVID relief funds, years of declining student enrollment, increased operational expenses, and other investments that SPPS has made to provide the services our students and families value most, including yellow buses, reading supports, school safety measures and more.

We firmly believe that our schools are amazing thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff. It is essential that we settle contracts that allow all of our employees to have the support they need to serve our students and families, while ensuring that SPPS has a balanced budget this year and into the future.

More information, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available on our website at spps.org/negotiations. We will continue to keep you informed as this process moves forward. Thank you for your ongoing support of Saint Paul Public Schools.